When I was younger foreign correspondents amazed me.  I was inspired by the brave men and women reporting from the field of conflict. I marvelled at the personal attributes required to be a non-combatant and yet be prepared to put your head above the parapet, in the name of justice and honesty. But that admiration has waned in recent times as most journalists now report with agendas, display their personal politics and have caught the bug of TV celebrity rather than public servant. Now I am much more used to my daily media diet coming from mean mouthed, self agrandising, self publicists.

I’ve watched Orla Guerin tell us that there is “no evidence” of Hamas using human shields. I’ve watched Jon Snow stepping between the rubble calling Israelis “child murderers”. I’ve watched interview after interview on the BBC with Daniel Taub where this man, a sovereign state’s ambassador to the UK, is not afforded a modicum of respect. At the same time a blood thirsty terror representative will be given a perfect platform on news channels to justify breaking International Law by launching rockets from a school or murdering their own without trial.

It is bewildering. People say their sense of injustice is palpable. And yet what to do? What CAN you do?


The BALEN REPORT was written 10 years ago. Its purpose was to investigate and to establish whether or not the allegations of bias against Israel by the BBC were founded. The report was completed and ready to publish, but then nothing. The BBC hid behind a legality that said that it did not have to go public on any investigation that brought into question its journalistic ability or integrity. Thus, the BBC has spent nearly half a million pounds of tax payers money on covering up these findings for over ten years. When you cursed the News at Ten for reporting the “War in Gaza” as if only one side was suffering or being attacked, when you moaned at Jeremy Bowen telling you about Israel breaking another cease fire when Hamas had been lobbing their rockets non stop through said ceasefire, when you saw a BBC political commentator rolling out anti semitic tropes about “wealthy Jews” who won’t support Labour because they don’t like the mansion tax, just remember…… you were doing it at your literal expense.

There is a petition, so sign it, or write to the BBC, write to your MP, write to the Minister of State for Culture and Media but do something. 1,000 signatures on a petition will scare the BBC. 5,000 signatures will mean the BBC will have to act, lest it finds itself at the forefront of another cover up and media trial. 100 complaints to the BBC when next they use lazy reporting to roll out an anti semitic stereotype will make them think twice. And a question in the Houses of Parliament as a result of the 1,000 letters to an MP about factual errors and bias will make the BBC more cautious in the future.

The BBC trust has to ensure that the BBC provides accurate and impartial news. The remit of the Balen report was to examine the BBC’s coverage of the Middle East.  By covering up these findings it stops the Trust is not seen to be ensuring that the BBC is a purveyor of accurate and impartial news. The BBC must be accountable to the public it serves. The report should be released without delay. Otherwise, we can only assume that the BBC has something to hide.

The petition to Release the Balen Report:

The Director General of The BBC is Tony Hall.

The Minister for Culture and Media is Ed Vaizey.

The Campaign for Anti Semitism in the UK regularly posts on Facebook advising people to complain to the BBC. It tells you “why to complain”, “who to complain to”, “complaint details” and it all takes about 5 minutes on your electronic device!

Or do nothing, and continue to wonder how it would be if people could think for themselves rather than be told what to think.


Bored of the Deputies

Originally posted 7th September 2014


I’m tired of discussing whether the Board of Deputies chairman should fall on his sword. I’m weary of hearing what the Board have been doing for me, the Ordinary Londoner, during this crisis.  My belief has been beggared as I’m told how they have taken the media to task for another appallingly biased report on BBC or Channel 4.  Are you, like me, bored of the Deputies?

We all applaud the sentiments of a joint statement from Muslim and Jewish communities. It has the potential to defuse many an ill tempered notion or bigoted narrative.  But many in our community were left aghast by the one put out by the Board and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) which included the ill conceived declaration regarding the “targeting of civilians” in the recent conflict.  When asked its meaning, the MCB were clear as to the context of said declaration, it referred to the IDF targeting civilians in Gaza.  So it was, the sentiments of good and noble intentions were overshadowed by the scent of betrayal.

Like many, I took to my keyboard…..

Dear Board of Deputies….. The majority of British Jewry (and almost all Israelis) would not agree with your statement generalising about the “targeting of civilians”.  You are, by the wording of that statement not differentiating between the strategy of indiscriminate Hamas terrorist attacks on the civilians of Israel and the actions of the IDF which strategically does NOT target civilians.   Israel tries at all times to operate within the bounds of International Law, Hamas’s combatants operate with impunity outside of it. 

Seems like the latest indiscriminate target are Jewish feet and ones doing the shooting are the Board of Deputies.

Now Board of Deputies, to see how it should have been done, read this statement from the Barnet Multi Faith Forum (written more recently):


We affirm the importance, as Jews, Muslims and people of many other faiths here in the London Borough of Barnet, of our diversity of religious belief in this Borough and of working together for good community relations.

We celebrate our religious diversity and rejoice in our common humanity and we are determined to identify the widest possible range of areas for co-operation between our different faiths. In this way it is our hope that, in all of our communities, people will be able to live side by side in peace and mutual respect

We condemn any expression of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and of all other forms of oppression, prejudice, racism and religious intolerance. We will continue to support each other to diffuse any community tensions that arise from our differences, and to promote the peaceful co-existence of religious and faith groups in the Borough.

We commit ourselves to this continuing task

Board of Deputies, that’s how to make a statement we can all stand by. Just as the term deputy can mean substitute, there is no substitute for common sense, and no sign of sense from the deputies.

Stephen Spencer Bond-Ryde

Dear Mr. Miliband, what’s with your Middle East policy


Dear Mr Miliband,

We know you are desperate to nail your colours to the mast, much in the same way as some of the Labour run councils across the UK have been happily hoisting Palestinian flags from their town halls. But be wary of being hoisted by your own petard.  Your latest display of passion for Palestine is the attendance as guest speaker at the Labour Friends for Palestine and the Middle East (LFPME) event in Westminster.  Your strong hand in whipping the Labour MPs to support the Parliamentary Motion in the House of Commons showed a firm affinity to Palestine’s future.  It is very clear, Mr Miliband, that you are fully committed to the future of Palestine.

And what, with all of your backing of this notional state, can you expect? What is your dream?  What’s with the support?  And who exactly are you supporting?

Your family, as you like to point out, have a strong Jewish heritage, yet that strength does not convert to a strong and secure Jewish future. Indeed, members of your family have been actively involved in supporting flotillas into Israeli waters (in direct breach of International Law) just to prove a point. I’m sure you didn’t condone such transgressions of law.  However, you like to reminisce on those happy days in your childhood, sat round the kitchen table at the grand Belsize Park family home listening to your parents, family and their political friends talk of Marxist revolutions and the righteous left’s moral high grounds.  Naturally, these fond early political narratives have left an indelible imprint on your views that rails against the only Middle Eastern democracy and egalitarian state and backs the hard line anti Zionist organisations and states surrounding Israel.

The support you have previously received from Israel and British Jews may have left you unsatisfied. Israel’s political history is deeply rooted in the Left.  The strong ties of British and Israeli Labour parties in the 1970s led to a significant number MPs with a Jewish background being involved in the British Labour Party.  Now Labour Friends of Israel is a small group amongst whose numbers, even the ex-Chairman and several members voted for the motion that you whipped up last month, so intransigent are they about Israel’s wellbeing.  So maybe you’d rather leave the “wealthy Jewish Labour benefactors” lurking behind newspaper headlines and the chattering left and go for the other voters ahead of your party’s allegiances and morals.

So as Labour’s Leader, I think we can see that your mission is to make Labour the party of the Palestinian state solution. And what sort of solution is that?

Well according to LFPME, that solution is ultimately a “one state solution”. And that state, we can safely assume, is not the State of Israel.  Now we start to get a picture of your vision of the future.  But let’s leave aside the potential provocation of the LFPME who, unlike Labour’s devious “Jewish lobby” cannot deter you from your mission to get the fledgling Palestinian state up and running.  Why is Jewish lobby referred to as “devious”?  Because the British media has been rolling out the usual racist narrative during this latest round of unfavourable news headlines for the Labour Leader.   It intimates that the Jewish lobby is able to influence everything from politics to the weather across the globe and is responsible for many negative events in the British social and political sphere.  More so, the particularly racist inference is that Jewish supporters withdrawing Labour donations is also a response to Labour’s proposed “mansion taxes” which will hit the country’s wealthy Jews particularly hard.

So, let’s cut to the quick, to the bright future for Palestine. From Jordan to the sea (as the protestors who’s bandwagon you’ve happily hitched a ride on say).   What do believe you are backing?  Do you think that Jews would be allowed to live in this state?  Hamas and Fatah have explicitly stated “no”.  Do you think that Christians would be allowed to exist in this state?  Hamas and Fatah will continue with the ethnic cleansing of other faiths which is currently ongoing throughout other parts of the Middle East.  And when you displace the Jewish state, where else where these millions of Jews go (and I’m not counting the other 6 million Israelis, who will have their own detestable problems)?  Well according to those who will be running your brave new Palestinian world, they won’t have to go to far.  As long as they are in reach of the directives of the Hamas manifesto, the plan will be simply to remove them from this mortal coil.  Mr Miliband, you’d best not visit this brave new world of yours, otherwise your heritage might just be the death of you……


Stephen Spencer Bond-Ryde